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“Sorry, cash only!”

Meredith Mahon Morris January 5, 2011

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A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for some Chinese food for lunch and decided to try a place out at the nearby mall food court. I eagerly got in line and selected my entree. The server loaded up my plate with an unhealthy amount of chicken and fried rice, full of fat, carbs, sodium, and MSG. Of course, this was before any New Year’s resolution!

With wallet in-hand, I slipped my debit card out, only to hear the server say, “Sorry, cash only!” Then she pointed to a tiny slip of paper taped on the cash register that said the same thing.

Needless to say, I was crushed! The food looked great, but I rarely carry cash on me. I’m one of those people that use their debit card for just about everything. Sure, I could make the extra effort and withdraw some money from the ATM to eat there, but why bother? Instead, I’ll be less likely to eat there and will opt for something a little more convenient (even if the food is worse!).

Imagine if your church was like that Chinese counter in the food court and it only accepted cold hard cash? People that usually write checks would be less inclined to give, wouldn’t they?

The same idea applies with online giving – you have to consider today’s “modern world,” where there is an ever-growing percentage of card transactions (and not just on the internet) vs. traditional currency. The debit card has overtaken paper currency in usage for most young adults and it only makes sense to adjust by providing an electronic payment method. This will only increase in number over time!

So why wait? When you offer online giving, you create more giving opportunities for your members and receiving opportunities for your ministry!

Just in case you’re wondering, I have yet to return to the Chinese place. I’m sure my bathroom scale will thank me later…

  • Great article! We’ve allowed debit card transaction via our online giving for years now and have had a great response to it by our congregation. In fact that’s how I give – online using my bank debit card. I encourage others who may not be allowing this to pursue this conversation again with their board or business office. Blessings to all!

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